Thursday, 30 January 2014

Velvet - com'era dov'era a Venezia

Not a real post, and as it's in Italian this might a bit overwhelming, but the technique how Velvet is woven on a 18th century loom is shown.
The weaver explains that she inserts fine iron rods (about 4), and then cuts them out again with a tool similar to a razor-blade with handle, to open the velvet "standing" threads. This happens nearly at the end of the video. It is difficult to have access to Bevilacqua's factories, but if you're once in Venice, and they offer a day of "open manufactury" - pay them a visit. It is very impressive, not just by the beauty of the fabric, but also to see and hear the noise, the cramped working conditions (still today) - and the value of these fabrics back then explains itself in a much more evident and likely way.

P.S.: If you ask yourself "What does the title say in plain language" and why I chose to use it:
"Com'era dov'era" is a modern Venetian bonmot, what translates roughly into "As it was, so (it shall be) again" - and was used by Venetian politicians to propagate the rebuilding of the Campanile di San Marco back in 1903 (it collapsed in 1902, what you see today is the rebuilt version what was inaugurated in 1912) and again in 1996 after the devastating fire at the Teatro la Fenice.
As Velvet and its production give me the immediate mind-picture of Venezia, so I chose it as the title of this post. And yes, I am longing to travel there, and it's again not on this year :-(

I've found yet another video, made for the Shanghai exhibition, where you can see a bit more of the Bevilacqua manufacturing premises:


  1. Ich hab zwar kein Wort in dem Videobericht verstanden, aber dennoch ist er sehr anschaulich gestaltet. Es ist ein Vergnügen einem längst 'vergessenen' Handwerk zuzuschauen! Danke für's Aufspüren!


  2. Omigosh, a treasure! I could watch this again and again. Have been skimming -- and fully reading parts of -- 19th century books on weaving, so this is a real treat to see such looms actually in motion.
    Very best,